posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 01:45 PM
It's not the sort of thing they'd publish. However, based on tradition, strategy, and some hints from the old stomping ground, there are several
things going on.
1) We tend to stock weapons in the 100kT to 500kT range. USAF loves this 150kT dial-a-yield gravity bomb they have, and that's mostly what we have
left in Europe right now. Navy loves the 450-500kT range for SLBM use. TLAM-N had a 200kT top end. The 100-500kT range is the most useful for
strategic targets, megawhopper Cold War show off Tsar bombs are nasty and inefficient. You get the biggest bang for your buck, so to speak, in the
mid-range, with dial-a-yield to isolate the smaller targets. More just bounces off the ground and spreads fallout. OTOH there are also a lot of uses
for demolition munitions in the 0.5 to 15kT range, so small ones are good to have as well. A lot of that got pulled in 1989-1991 and
2) Smaller is better, physically. The big Atlas type booster is now a big target. If you stay in the atmosphere it takes longer to get there, but
it's harder to find. A tree-hugging evasive stealth cruise missile is cheaper and stands a really good chance of getting through. Not to mention you
can stash them in 18-wheelers and railroad cars.
3) If you can work out how to do an efficient fission warhead without boost, the mechanical hooha around the physics package gets a lot smaller. Up to
now that wouldn't have helped a lot because the chemical explosives that compress the warhead had to be somewhat bulky in comparison.
4) That's changed. There's a new kid in town, HMX/RDX is now passe. You can get all the compression you want now, in a much much smaller package.
5) That also fixed a boundary instability issue with radical compression ratios
6) So now you can get very small warheads as well, if you'd like a 0.5kT demolition charge in a package you could ruck around in your ALICE and still
have room for some food, ammo and dry socks. Theoretically speaking, that is.